Posted in Monday Mayhem

The Walking Dead: Zombie Names

Doesn’t it feel good to know there’s a comfortable place to relax when all hell breaks loose? Now that The Walking Dead is back on the air serving pleasant meals of Horror with a side dish of dark humor, wouldn’t it be nice to know what those names for those zombies actually mean?

The Walking Dead Season 4
The Walking Dead Season 4

Monday Mayhem is my series where I delve into all things zombie in order to gain a better understanding of the undead’s wicked ways. If this is your first time here, enjoy my back catalogue of zombie posts tailored specifically for the genre. If you want to see something in the future, drop me a line. I do take requests.

Okay, let’s have some fun!

One of the coolest aspects of AMC’s The Walking Dead is the show’s ability to entertain their audience with trivial things. In this case, names the writers choose to describe zombies. They could have gone and called them zombies, but you’ll never hear that. In fact, here’s a challenge: Find an instance in the show where any of the survivors refer to a zombie as a zombie. You won’t find it. What you will find, though, is a list of euphemisms to describe a zombie’s principal attribute.

The Walking Dead Cast
The Walking Dead Cast

What are they? I thought you’d never ask.

Walkers—These are the garden-variety zombies most often seen in the show. The virus transformed them from productive humans to deceased corpses with no other intent other than eat other humans. In a zombie horde, walkers make up the bulk of the frenzied mass.

Lurkers—A common name for zombies that have sustained a massive injury that prevents them from walking. These are the most dangerous because upon approach they seem dead yet can pounce at any time. They tend to grab hold of the victim and munch on a limb thereby spreading the virus, making the victim one of them.

Meat Puppets—The name given to zombies whose intelligence is so low that survivors consider them nothing more than mindless puppets of meat.

Floaters—Of all the zombies, these are the ones most pollutant to the environment. We can find them in the water either stuck somewhere or floating. Should survivors attempt to steer these beasts away, a mighty explosion may occur that’d dismember the floater and spill its entrails. Not fun when survivors need to travel the waterway corridor to get to the other side.

Roamers—They do nothing other than hunt for humans to devour. Much of the roamers’ days transpire with nothing more than lurching back and forth between feeding grounds. They’re main attribute is an insatiable appetite.

The list goes on: Biters, creepers, dead ones, empties, deadies, geeks, monsters, ghouls, goons, lame-brains, psychos, swimmers, and wanderers. I’m sure you can find more.

Nevertheless, what I’ve described are the dominant ones in the show. If you do know of any more, don’t hesitate to comment. I’m sure the folks looking for a thorough compendium to the show’s creativity would appreciate it.

Do you enjoy watching The Walking Dead? What is your favorite part of the show? Did you know about all the names the survivors have for the zombies?


Jack Flacco is an author and the founder of Looking to God Ministries, an organization dedicated to spreading the Word of God through outreach programs, literature and preaching.

48 thoughts on “The Walking Dead: Zombie Names

  1. Reblogged this on thepageofdaniel and commented:
    That OTHER series, on the Syfy Channel ” Z Nation ” has ” blasters ” wo were mutated by radiation before dying & can run. ” Murphy “, the main character in ” Z Nation ” seems to be somewhere between a living being & a sentient, sapient, self – aware zombie w / some unusual abilities – & a snarky, selfish personality.

  2. LOL Jack! I do love the show. I tend to love any show that does the whole “a few people survive the end of the earth when they work together” storylines – when they’re done well. This is really done well. And so many of the actors are so good and fascinating.

  3. Good day ! Having liked my post on the Calgary Expo … Can I assume you may be attending it this year? It would be great to meet you sir ! Maybe talk a little bit about not-zombies, heh.

    1. @DanBoutros, check out, it has almost every name used to refer to the zombies in the Walking Dead TV series, comic books, webisodes and video games. From the research I’ve done, including this article, here is my list:
      Zombies (only used once)
      Lame brains
      Meat Puppets
      Dead ones
      Creepy Crawlies
      Walking Bodies
      Walking Corpses
      For groups: Herds and Swarms

  4. You are awesome! I’ve always had a weird affinity for zombies back when Dawn of the Dead (original) was the most exciting. Walking Dead is my comfort show to remind me my life could be worse! 🙂

  5. I find it interesting how the different groups of survivors we find come up with different names for the same creatures, and all within a fairly small geographical area.

  6. I wanted to say first is Thank you for liking a post of mine and second Walking Dead is really cool and different than the older ones I have seen. I think the saddest part is when the little girl that came out of the barn was a zombie . On the final I am guessing that new safe house they met up alive people eating others .Like a trap.. and the little girl (sorry bad with names) who killed her sister was crazy and her reason why she killed her sister and close to killing the baby.. Can’t wait for it to come back;)

  7. I remember the Governor calling them ‘biters’.
    But thanks for the expanded list! As the ‘TWD’ crew meet up with other new people will have to listen for the new names.
    Although I do like the name ‘walkers’ the most. 🙂

  8. Big “Dead” fan. Saw your name on a thumbs up to my blog and came to see what you were doing. Back at you – kudos. I just saw your name pass across my Amazon screen in a totallly unrelated to blogs search. After I finish my current series, Ranger is at the top of my list. Best.


  9. Great blog and articles. My only problem with the Walking Dead is I love the characters. And the writers break all known formula TV rules. Fave characters are killed off when you least suspect it. Sometimes, I click to something else, and then watch NEXT week to see if the character died. SO suspenseful and so great and addicting. But, it is just a story. They promote it all the time of Fox – The Five. I forget the dudes name who loves it, too. Anyway, great blog. (BLOG is a funny word when you think about it after typing it)

  10. didn’t know there was a show called the Walking Dead. But it sounds like a barrel of laughs – I’ll def look out for it! (no I mean that, it sounds intriguing and also my children are very fond of zombies).

  11. I love this show. I can’t get enough of it. I hear them say “walkers” a lot, I guess I never paid attention to the other names. I’ve heard them say “geeks” a couple times. I’m glad Carl has grown up a bit. I also enjoy watching “The Talking Dead” and when they do the “In Memoriam” and name the zombies who died in that episode. That cracks me up every time. I love the makeup job on the zombies. I would love to be an extra on that show. ~Gina

  12. I wanted to let you know i like this blog a lot and i’ve nominated you for “The Versatile Bloggers Award”
    Please keep up the good work!
    You ca find my nominations here:

    Moving on, there are apparently a couple of stipulations/rules when it comes to getting nominated for this thing.

    Here they are below:

    1. Display the Award on your Blog.

    2. Announce your win/nom/nod with a post and thank the Blogger who nominated you.

    3. Present 15 deserving Bloggers with the Award.
    4. Link your nominees in the post and let them know of their nomination with a comment.
    5. Post 7 interesting things about yourself.

  13. I like the series, though I much prefer the comic book it’s based on. Interesting (and obviously very deliberate) that in neither the tv series nor comic books, do they ever use the word zombie.

  14. Reblogged this on Hannah's Scribbles: and commented:
    Let’s not forget about the newest Zombie name: Nick.
    Nick goes to show the audience how differently children and adults are adapting to the apocalypse. Whereas adults are struggling to adjust to the brutality of their new life, the children almost seem flippant about zombies. They name them like pets, an idea more experienced members of the group have difficulty wrapping their heads around.
    To adults, zombies are biters, walkers or lurkers. They are something to be fought, a plague to resist – not just a fact of life to be accepted in turn with the seasons.
    It’s going to be interesting to see this play out in Season 4.

  15. Walking Dead creators and writers are so wickedly able to make us care for this rag-tag group of survivors and equally talented in injecting just enough at the end of each episode to “HAVE” to watch the next week. Yes sadly we are hooked, muck like a junky.

  16. I’m surprised they haven’t come up with the crazies – the ones so demented, they will rip your flesh in a heartbeat! possibly due to the fact they were abused and locked up and tortured, now let loose on the roads. I’d Prehaps invent the crawlers – the ones with no legs heh.

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